Are you using Google+?

Posted on October 2nd, 2013 by Skye-Lynn Ferch Categories Advertising

Are you using Google+ ?

If you haven’t heard, the latest movement hitting the social networking world is Google+. The networking service was created in 2011 but is just now gaining the title of the “next big thing” in the digital world. In early 2013, Google+ had close to 360 million active users and is projected to grow even more. If you are not on Google+, here is why you should be.

Circles

You can place people into different circles and manage who sees what. You are able to converse with each group on separate topics, making your engagement more personal. In your business you might have certain messages to relay to different target audiences, and this feature allows you to do so without posting a one-for-all message.

Communities

Imagine a place that allows you to interact and meet people whom all share the same interests; communities does just that. It connects users with others who are posting about the same topic. You can use this to benefit your business by reaching out to those who already show an interest in what you are offering. You can also plan events within this feature, making it easy to send out invites to just the right people.

Hangouts

Hangouts are where you can catch up with your followers/friends with video, voice calls or share photos. You can have up to a 10-person conference call from all around the world (for free), and share photos and emojis in your conversation. Another great thing about the video aspect is you can pre-record your videos to post to the web at a later time.

Bonus

Since Google is the creator, your business’s Google+ profile will always pop-up on the top right of the search results.

With the unique features offered, it is no wonder it has millions of users and is the next big thing! Google is creating a new way of communicating with its easy-to-use, engaging social networking site. Now is the time to join, the media buzz surrounding the site is bound to draw in many more users.

Public Relations Tactics: Old and New

Posted on September 18th, 2013 by Skye-Lynn Ferch Categories Advertising

Public Relations Tactics: Old and New

Public Relations is a strategic management function used by many businesses to accomplish their goals and follow their vision. PR professionals use many platforms to reach their target publics. Some fall under the traditional route and some are in the digital world.

 

Traditional PR

 

Traditional PR is all about the basics, press releases, email pitches and making phone calls to pitch a story.

  • A press release is a written news story sent to the media in hopes that they will run in it on air, in a newspaper or on the radio. Your press release should be news worthy and interesting to captivate your public’s attention.
  • An email pitch is an email that you write and send to a journalist or reporter pitching your story. It can include nice images to catch the journalist’s attention. Be short and to the point and write a great pitch, journalists may have hundreds of emails to read.
  • Phone calls to pitch a story are very personal. The extra attention may make a difference in your story getting picked up. Prepare what you want to say beforehand and practice out-loud.

 

Social PR

 

Social PR works in the digital world. It is all about engaging your publics through social networking and online blogging.

  • Social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn are great outlets that make it easy to reach your target audience. Keep your postings relevant to what your publics want to read and straight to the point.
  • Blogging is becoming a popular way for PR pro’s to stay interactive communicating with their publics. Write something useful, it will keep your readers coming back for more.

 

When deciding which outlet to use for your business, it is important to take your business’s goals into consideration. The mixture of both practices is a great way to keep your business in the loop online and maintain personal relationships with the media.

 

You’re Invited: Using Online Event Planning Platforms

Posted on November 7th, 2012 by admin Categories Campaigns

Whether it’s an intimate get together or a full scale house party, everyone loves a good party. Planning and executing your (or your client’s) event can be tricky, but what if I told you there are sites that can help you organize everything from the invite to ticket sales to check in. Here are a couple of websites will make marketing your event simple.

 

Brighten Up Your Event

 

Founded in 2006, Eventbrite boasts selling over 79 million tickets. This platform let’s you create a personalized website for your event, so people can have a landing page while searching for your event. The website is mobile ready and retail accessible if your event requires selling tickets. With tools like social media promotions and listings on the Eventbrite website and public search engines, you are able to get the word out about your event quite easily. Want to see how your sales are going or how many people are coming? Take a look at Eventbrite’s tracking features.

 

When it comes time for the event, Eventbrite offers the “Entry Manager” app that can check guests in, and read tickets. If you would like to continue to sell tickets at the door, just download the “At The Door” app and you can securely sell tickets straight from your iPad. You may be wondering about a price. Well Eventbrite only charges if you are selling tickets to your event. They offer a 2.5%, 99 cents per ticket sold, and various payment processing option charges. The payment options include credit cards (3% of ticket value), PayPal (2.9% + 30 cents per transaction), Google Checkout (2.9% + 30 cents per transaction), and Authorize.net (varies). 

 

Bee First On The Event Front

 

You can promote your annual fundraiser or a one time seminar on Eventbee. This handy website lets you choose between RSVP events and ticketed events like Eventbrite, but also let’s you choose the type of ticket you want to sell. Another cool feature is Eventbee lets you accept donations to a non-profit if that applies to your event. You can customize how you want your event’s personal page and integrate your event page on your website.

 

 

 

Create share buttons to get the word out on your event. Also paste in the custom Facebook URL in your event description and you are able to sell tickets from your event page. With the “Real Time Attendee” app you can use multiple cell phones to check in your guests in. After the event, create reports to look at your attendance, the number of check-ins, and sales report. Based on various features, your service rate can run from $1 to $2 and for payment options you can choose PayPal (2.9% + 30), Google Checkout (2.9% + 30 cents), Eventbee (4.95% + 50 cents) and a merchant account , which means Eventbee provides a custom account through Braintree payments.

 

 

If you have used these or another event planning website, let us know about your experience. Did you see an increase in attendance because of them? Were they easy to use?

Daily Deals: Figuring Out Social Media’s New Deals

Posted on October 31st, 2012 by admin Categories Campaigns

While it seems that the economy is growing day by day, people are still keeping a close watch on their spending habits. Most people look to find the best deals and social media sites like Facebook and Foursquare have jumped on the opportunity to distribute deals just for their users. We’ve broken down what it takes to create this deal and send it out to your fans.

 

Foursquare

 



No I’m not talking about the game you use to play at recess. This social media powerhouse totes over 25 million members worldwide and has seen about 2.5 billion check-ins since its creation in March 2009. This free application is a great way to open your business to a new audience. Simply claim your business, you’re ready to go.

 

Now you can create specials for your current and new customers to enjoy. Choose from specials like discounts to increase your sales, or loyalty rewards to keep people coming back. The best part? Creating these specials are free! All your customers have to do is check into your location and they unlock the special.

When it comes to entering the specials, there is no need to worry about confusion over redeeming a special. It will not only say unlocked on their phone but the frame will also turn orange. Need a discount code for the register? You can put it into your special. For example: “Tell your staff member the discount code is ‘4SQcode.’”

 

 

Facebook

 

We all know that Facebook likes to be a little different, so they had to change how they do deals. These coupons, now known as “offers”, are offered through your business’ facebook page. There are more options for the offers than Foursquare. You can choose between in store only, in store and online, or online only. To make an offer, go your page and click on   Offer. Choose which option you would like and then start creating!  On a less positive side, Facebook charges you to create these offers based on the number of people you would like to reach.

 

To redeem the offer, your customers have to click on the redeem button and the offer will be sent to their email. As with Foursquare, Facebook offers let you place register codes to make ringing up the offer easier. Facebook also allows you to include handy bar codes, so in store offers are a breeze.

 

Take your business to the next level with these guaranteed people pleasing offers. If you have used either Foursquare deals or Facebook offers, please let us know how they worked for you.

Capturing your Company on Instagram

Posted on September 26th, 2012 by admin Categories communication

Instagram was once thought of only as an app for people to share photos of what they are eating, where they are going, what they are doing, etc. As the app continues to grow through its new parent company Facebook, Instagram is drawing the attention of other users, specifically businesses.

 

 

Well let’s break down how Instagram works. Basically you take or upload a photo to the app and you can edit the photo by changing the filter of the photo (see example). You also add a caption to the photo so your followers will know what/who is in the photo, where it was taken, etc.

 

You might be wondering: “This sounds fun but how can I use Instagram for my business?” Well one way you can use the photo is to update your followers about your newest inventory not only on Instagram, but also on Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, and Foursquare. You can connect directly with your followers by seeing how many people liked the photo and/or commented on it. That way you can know how your customers feel about your products.

 

I think Instagram is a super easy app to get your name and products out to a new audience. If you try Instagram, let us know what you think!

Focusing In On Facebook

Posted on September 12th, 2012 by admin Categories Advertising

We’ve all seen the new Frito-Lay commercial with Eva Longoria running around New York coming up with new flavors, so she can win the million dollar prize. While it seems a little weird having random consumers yelling ideas at you or in Frito-Lay’s case submitting ideas on their Facebook app, it looks like Frito-Lay is onto something. They have turned social media into a world wide focus group. They currently have 847,836 users and counting for the race for the newest Lay’s flavor.

 

This isn’t just a flash in the pan scenario. Other companies like Walmart have been listening to followers on Facebook, Twitter and other social media sites to see what is popular and what people will buy. I am sure you are wondering, but how can I make this work for my business? Well here are a few tips you could use to get your consumers input:


-Use the “Ask a Question” tool on Facebook and ask your followers which item would they rather see in your store.

 

-Look at free trending sites like SocialSeek or Social Mention to see what new product is trending or what people are saying about different products. For example: here are the up to date social media results for cupcakes.

-Post a photo to your tweet and have your Twitter followers retweet you if they like photo. If not, have them reply to you explaining what they would rather see.

 

If you have used to social media to gauge your consumers, please let us know how it worked for you.

Making UGC Work

Posted on June 27th, 2012 by Tiffany Categories Campaigns

Does User Generated Content (UGC) work? More specifically, can a campaign reliant on UGC work? We think it can, provided the idea is carried out the right way. The best part about UGC campaigns is the element of risk involved with them; as far as content creation is concerned, UGC campaigns take a little relinquishing of control on the marketers part.

Granted, UGC platforms have come under fire for not being professional enough. Remember the great journalism debates over self-publishing on blogs? However, there are distinct advantages to taking this road, especially in terms of the creativity that gets channeled through people in different corners of the world.

Just so you know, we like the idea of building community through a common cause. It gives us warm fuzzies everywhere.

Think about it. If you’re creating a campaign from a crowd-sourced idea or content, you’re making the room to create a huge fan following by making your brand a lot more accessible than it probably has been.


 
Case in point: Doritos and their UGC Super-Bowl commercials. Doritos invited their audiences to create and send in their own Super Bowl commercials with a chance to win a very cool $1 million and have their ad aired during the Super Bowl.

The advantages here are self-evident. First of all, crowd-sourcing new content keeps production costs at a definite minimum. With countless numbers of talented amateurs and home grown video enthusiasts out and about, the production costs for creating video and then laying down media buys for dissemination are cut down, in some cases, by hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Secondly, there’s always a new perspective and new insights to be had. You don’t really know what brand means to other people or how they connect with it until you offer them a chance to create or recreate an insular perspective that’s carried by a select group of people.

Finally, with a built-in potential for going viral, UGC campaigns offer an unprecedented opportunity for social engagement. While there’s no set formula to get millions of people talking about what you want to share and have to say, there’s no doubt that human connection is the basic driver.

It’s a simple principle. Don’t tell people what they need. Ask them and then deliver.

Posted on June 20th, 2012 by Tiffany Categories Branding

Imagining this scenario may be difficult for some people, but we believe there’s a lot to be learned from reality T.V. No, really. If you take a moment to dissect what lays behind their overwhelming success, the basic principles don’t stray too far from what generally determines and defines success.



Faith in the product, ample amounts of self-confidence and an intimate understanding of human behavior go a long way in creating marketing campaigns that leave strong impressions for a long time.

How do we make it happen? If there’s anything Extreme Makeover: Home Edition has shown us, it’s that people love people who conquer seemingly insurmountable odds. Who doesn’t love a good journey story?

And there are more common elements than not between all the stories that make them so memorable.

Reflect and Retrospect Audience’s love being able to delve into the psyche of their producers. It’s a way to feel closer and more connected through a one-dimensional medium. And it’s a good lesson to take away from reality TV. Show the process of evolution –either your company or your product’s – to your customers, especially if you’ve achieved any success from the process. If you’re willing to share how you’ve overcome your obstacles, chances are you’ll be connecting with your target audience a lot faster. We all need something to aspire to and be inspired from.

Be Memorable It’s a wide umbrella. Being memorable can entail any number of characteristics – being flashy, communicating flair, taking risks and in certain cases, taking a risk big enough that many people will consider offensive. But when was the last time you could instantly recall a product or a campaign that didn’t have a razor-sharp edge?

Strut a Little. Strut a Lot. We’ll say it without any qualms – confidence is sexy. And if you’ve had a string of successes in the past, it’s perfectly fine to step back, reflect and toot your own horn for yourself. Because really, if you can’t believe in what you have to offer, how will anyone else?

Share with us what you’ve found to be a common thread or a memorable nugget from your observances of reality television. Do you think there’s more than meets the eye?

Viddy?

Posted on May 30th, 2012 by Tiffany Categories communication

There’s a new player on the social media field. Well. Perhaps not quite that new, given that celebrities and a few million people (27 million) have signed up for its service, but it’s still not quite at Instagram and YouTube status. So, we’ll call it new.
 
Meet Viddy, the latest contender for video sharing. In the past few weeks, it has received attention from various news media outlets and there seems to be a little hype building. Mashable has talked about it, Mark Zuckerberg has signed up for it and TechCrunch reported about a $30 million funding deal Viddy just scored.
 
 
But what it does do?
 
We’re flooded with a myriad of options to share information and harnessing all of those technologies. So, with video-sharing services like Vimeo and YouTube that already possess a significant piece of the market share, how different is Viddy’s difference?
 
Platform and Structures
 
These are the snapshot details: -
 
1. Viddy allows users to record videos via their iPhone app. (Other platforms coming soon).
 
2. Videos are limited to 15 seconds. 
 
3. The app, in a very Instagram fashion, allows people to layer filters for visual effects.
 
4. The sign-up process is (incredibly!) simple and lives up to its social nature. Sync-ups and log-ons with Facebook and Twitter are included.
 
5. The app comes with the ability to follow friends via Facebook and Twitter who are already using Viddy.e
 
6. Record, curate and share videos in a live-stream.
 
 
The Finer Details
 
Great user-interface with clean design, clearly marked tabs and the prerequisite heart-shaped symbol for adding a video to your favorites. 
 
The Verdict
 
It’s not quite the platform for involved storytelling, but with a $30 million dollar investment, 27 million users and celebrities lining up to find space on the app, we’re looking forward to seeing how far Viddy can go.
 
Possibly towards the billion dollar brass ring!
 
Have you Viddy’d yet? Share your 15-second stories with us!
 
 
 

Non-Traditional Marketing

Posted on April 18th, 2012 by Tiffany Categories Advertising

So, we’re all in a field where the jargon of the landscape is littered with phrases like “thinking outside the box” and “being different”. With marketers scurrying around trying to find faster, snazzier and more exciting ways to sell the latest gimmick, some of the best ways to connect with an audience get left by the wayside.  Lately though, we’ve been of the opinion that if people are brought together with a greater sense of affability, the profits follow along.
 
 
 
A Pen for Your Thoughts?
 
Of course that requires a little creative thinking on everyone’s part, and perhaps even a return to the basics. Really, when was the last time you wrote a letter or sent a card to thank your client or vendor base?
 
Effective non-traditional marketing can be as simple as picking up the phone to say hello and see if things are going well with your clients.  But since we’re extolling the virtues of creativity, perhaps we can move past a phone call or a hand-written card and throw a little character and personality into it.
 
Take, for instance, this photo-blog of very creative direct-mail pieces sent out by a number of vendors. We tried to pick a favorite but a quick gander at the post reveals how hard that really is!
 
 
Go Guerilla
 
Guerilla marketing can have a negative connotation attached to it for obvious reasons, but the concept is more about surprising people with a strong message in unexpected places than it is about attacking them with a product. Have you ever thought about orchestrating a flash mob? Flash mobs are nothing if not memorable, and if you’re looking to make an impact, they’re the place to begin.
 
Too risqué? Put your creative minds to work to come up with billboard ads, or better yet, make the medium the message.
And while you’re at it, let us know how far you’ve taken your non-traditional marketing strategies. We love a good conversation around these parts!
 

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